Statue honors Fannie Mae

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COLORADO SPRINGS — A new statue was installed Friday in honor of an inspirational woman known very well in Colorado Springs.

Mrs. Fannie Mae Duncan was best known for owning the cotton club for decades. Her slogan there was “Everybody Welcome” as she was a catalyst for integration.

It might be said that integration in Colorado Springs happened to the best musical accompaniment of the day. The Cotton Club was the only place in the city where jazz lovers could see such great musical talents as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Eta James, and other legendary entertainers. She even gave famed comedian Flip Wilson his start.

The statue is in front of the Pikes Peak Center for Performing Arts, just a block away from where her beloved Cotton Club once stood.

Her statue holds a memory of her peaceful works during the civil rights era.

In addition to her success as a businesswoman, she was noted for her philanthropy and was one of the founders of the 400 Club, an organization that provided for those in need regardless of race or religion.

The statue was donated to and will be maintained by El Paso County.

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